“For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him:”
One of the hardest things people deal with is when people attack them. It doesn’t matter what you do or how good your people skills may be; you are going to be attacked. The attacks may come from church members, a spouse, a friend, or even a family member, but you are going to experience attacks. In the verse above, David talked about the personal attack, and the psalm shows the believer what to do when the personal attack comes. Let me share with you what you need to do when you experience personal attacks.
First, most attacks will come from someone close. You will notice that David said, “For it was not an enemy that reproached me…” One of the reasons personal attacks hurt so much is because they often come from people who know how to hurt you the most. Though an attack is never easy, it is expected from an enemy to personally attack you, but it hurts more deeply when the attack comes from someone close. You are going to have to come to grips with the fact that most attacks will come from someone close.
Second, don’t dwell on the attack. The great thing about the Scriptures is that God often shows us the feelings someone goes through. One of David’s mistakes was that he dwelt on the attack instead of moving on. The longer you dwell on personal attacks, the greater chance you have of becoming bitter. You must move on and do what God wants you to do if you want to avoid becoming bitter.
Third, realize that sin caused the person to attack. Sin is what caused this friend to personally attack David. Verse 19 says about the person attacking David, “Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.” In other words, that person never corrected the sin in their life, so because they never got right, they chose to attack David. My friend, don’t get angry at the sinner, but get angry at the sin. Sin can make the best of people act like the worst of humankind.
Fourth, call upon God. David said in verse 16, “I will call upon God.” The only one who can protect you from the attack and help the hurt from how personal that attack was is God. Instead of responding in like action to those who attack you, your response should be to call upon God. It doesn’t matter how personal and vicious the attacker becomes, you must choose to make your action to call upon God.
Fifth, don’t talk to others about it. One of the greatest mistakes most people make is that they want to tell everybody about the attacker and what they are doing, but this will never help you or your situation. Verse 22 says, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee…” Telling others about what is happening will not help you, but telling God about what is happening is what will get you through the attacks without becoming bitter and angry.
Sixth, live your life. The best thing you can do is to go live your life and serve the LORD. You are going to have to remember that the individual attacking you is not your enemy; sin is your enemy. The best way to defeat sin is to serve the LORD, reach the lost, and do your best to help others to become what they are supposed to be. Attacks are going to come; so don’t let them pull you away from what you are supposed to be doing for the LORD.